Mark’s Remarks – West Coast Avengers #25 (October 1987)

Back at the dawn of the Marvel Age of Comics, a fellow by the name of Stan Lee remarked that you readers were the true editors of our comics. It’s a basic premise that everyone in the popular media has to abide by: give the public that it wants. The problem, of course, is determining what the public wants. The public is not just one person with a clearly defined preference. No, the public (for Marvel Comics) is made up of hundreds of thousands of buyers, young and old, male and female, rich and poor, liberal and conservative, etc. It is impossible to please everybody in your reading audience. For every person delighted with a dramatic new change, there is another person who wishes it had stayed the same. And yet, if everything stayed the same all the time, the stories and characters we do would start to get very predictable, and readers would get bored. So from time to time, we have to take chances, try new things we’re not sure the public will go for, just to shake up the status quo and get away from the same old same old.

All of which leads us to Wonder Man’s costume. (You just knew this was going somewhere, didn’t you?) About ninety per cent of our correspondents clearly stated they did like Simon Williams’ new look. You, the real editors of this book, were pretty clear about that. So, the first opportunity we got, we’ve changed his costume again, back to something on the order the majority of you professed to prefer: a jacket, black tank top, and tights. If only all public mandates were so clear, my job would be easy. Please continue to write in to express your opinion often. I won’t know what you like and dislike unless you tell me. And if enough of you dislike something, well, anyone want to buy a slightly used green-and-red Wonder Man costume?

–Mark Gruenwald­­